The Heater (Review)

A true Canadian film if I ever saw one. This is a movie about two homeless men in the dead of winter trying to make a few bucks.

First we are introduced to Ben (Gary Farmer), who has lost his wallet yet again and can’t get a cheque from town hall. He can’t pay his rent and is about to get evicted. The second man, who remains nameless (Stephen Ouimette), has one severely injured foot and has somehow randomly found a heater, and hopes to sell it to someone for $20.

The two meet each other in a local shelter while chowing down. (The man randomly tells Ben “You look like that guy from that movie”). The man tries to sell the heater to Ben, who refuses. The two of them get into scuffles and Ben offers to take the heater back to the retailer. Because hey, if the receipt says “SATISFACTION GUARANTEED” that must mean it’s refundable, right? But it’s not that easy, the two men must find ways to brave the cold while trying to get rid of the blasted bulky box. Nobody wants a heater in the dead of winter and the store being so far away makes it harder to return. Chaos ensues throughout the night and the two “buddies” get into fights every now and then. Their only hope is to give up the nonsensical argument over the product if they wish to get a refund for something they didn’t exactly buy.

There are a few minor issues in the movie. The pauses in dialogue are sometimes long and awkward, but not too long. The shots are well arranged, even though some of them appear shaky. (The first conversation between the two pans back and forth for a while.) The story was pretty hilarious and enjoyable though. While not a lot to work with, it still made for an interesting concept. Even showing us the life of the homeless in Winnipeg (or almost all of Canada for that matter).
(Photo: ronnieb)

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